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Old 5th August 2012, 13:04   #1
jasonkerner
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Default North Wales Coast Express - 5th august

Does anyone know what happened to the steam loco supposed to be hauling the NWCE on 5th August? All waiting at Newton le willows to get pictures and it's topped and tailed with 2 47s!

Isn't there supposed to be a reserve steam loco, ie, Duchess of Sutherland also based at Crewe with 60009?

Feel a bit sorry for the people who expected a steamer and get a diesel

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Old 5th August 2012, 13:25   #2
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60009 failed and 6233 is out of gauge for part of the route.
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Old 5th August 2012, 14:14   #3
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Duchess was not in steam but has been steamed up with the intention of sending it "light" to work back from Holyhead to Chester, however we are hearing that N/R are saying no at present.

Edit: Don't mind the diesel so much, just wish it was almost anything except a 47.
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Old 5th August 2012, 15:36   #4
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6233 is out of gauge for part of the route
Which part? It's fine west of Chester - I have pictures of it turning at Valley two years ago.
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Old 5th August 2012, 19:03   #5
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What seems to be a bit odd is that on the Railway Touring website, it mentions that the locos can come from the pool of...

6201
6233
60009
70013
45305

Maybe RTC need to plan a bit more as 70013 was on one of their other tours today, if 6233 is out of gauge (which I'm sure they would have known about before hand), why was 45305 and 6201 not moved to Crewe as a backup just in case, or atleast have the crews on standby to do a light engine movement if required - they could have swapped to 6201 at Crewe if it had to move from Tyseley or 45305 at Warrington on its way down from Carnforth. Of course, it doesn't really affect us enthusiasts trying to get pictures, but for the people forking out money to go on it, it does make whole experience rather negative and paint RTC in a bad light, even though it was out of their control. Suppose its good they actually ran it with a diesel instead of cancelling completely, but perhaps they could do more to plan problems if they know locos are out of gauge for a tour.
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Old 5th August 2012, 21:21   #6
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Seems Scots Guardsman came to grief as well today, I was waiting at Blea Moor to get it on the return but a 47 appeared instead. Great! Now trying to find out what happened to it.
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Old 5th August 2012, 22:52   #7
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Sadly, failures do occur occasionally, even to steam locos. And unfortuntely, when that happens, there may be no alternative loco available, or suitable. And probably more important, there may be no available train or support crew at the time they are needed.

I was told last year that, because the North Wales tour has to include a Class 47 at the rear (e.g. for shunt movements at Holyhead / Llandudno), the load was regarded as too heavy for a Black 5. So, if a last minute problem occurs with one loco, and 6233 not in steam, then the alternatives are hire a diesel loco or cancel the train. I doubt that any tour operator can afford to hire a spare steam loco just in case a failure might occur.

Speculating, I wonder if Manchester Piccadilly was the guage problem for 6233 - it has worked over most other sections of the route recently.
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Old 6th August 2012, 22:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkerner View Post
Does anyone know what happened to the steam loco supposed to be hauling the NWCE on 5th August? All waiting at Newton le willows to get pictures and it's topped and tailed with 2 47s!

Isn't there supposed to be a reserve steam loco, ie, Duchess of Sutherland also based at Crewe with 60009?

Feel a bit sorry for the people who expected a steamer and get a diesel

Jason
According to the TRUST system in work - it said due to an "incident" and 2 x Class 47's worked it instead. Later on in the afternoon flooding at Christleton caused severe delays between Chester and Crewe.

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Old 7th August 2012, 21:45   #9
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No incident as such, 60009 failed its "fitness to run" exam during the night though it did work a Cumbrian Mountain Express without any apparent problems the previous day. We were told that the problem was not a serious one but could not be fixed with the engine in steam; 46233 had to be steamed up and this was arranged at very short notice but not in time to work the train from Crewe at 09:35; it couldn't cover the first part in any case due to a gauging restriction.

It was hoped that the loco could be sent to Holyhead to work the return journey as far as Chester but Network Rail couldn't (or wouldn't) find a path for it. The Duchess is currently barred from passing over a bridge in the Frodsham area so it could not be used for the whole trip which was routed via Manchester.

"jasonkerner", don't know what version of the RTC website you are looking at (or are you referring to the printed brochure which was done months ago?) but loco allocations can change quite substantially between when a tour is first advertised and when it finally happens due to failures or locos not entering service when anticipated (34046 for example). Yes, there should be three locos in the pool at Crewe (46233, 60009 and 70013) but 70013 is currently based in the south, effectively covering for 34046. You can have as big a loco pool as you want but it is not really practical to have a loco steamed up on standby "just in case" of a last minute failure such as the one on Sunday.

"EltonRoad" 46115 was failed at Carlisle on Sunday; it was in light steam on Monday and two 47s were sent from Carnforth to move it to Upperby to enable the problem to be assessed more fully.
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Old 8th August 2012, 06:34   #10
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33056,

It was only the other day I looked, just checked again now and only mentions 60009 so it seems they've updated it.

What it'd be nice is if the touring companies used twitter and Facebook a lot more to send updates of loco allocations and changes instead of only a key few people knowing until it comes around a corner somewhere. Steam Dreams do a pretty good job with this, the others I think should bring steam travel into the social media era. You never know, it may actually help them get more funding - it certainly wouldn't cost any more, apart from someone's time to send a tweet



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Old 8th August 2012, 10:56   #11
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Default Is 60009 fixed now?

I'm booked on this coming Sunday's North Wales Coast Express, and am wondering whether No. 9 is now fit to run. I really don't fancy spending all day behind a diesel!
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Old 9th August 2012, 17:46   #12
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I was on the diesel hauled train - everyone very disappointed and only a 20 voucher each offered for a trip that cost 376! They said the 60009 blew a gasket at 2am. The Duchess of Sutherland had been used previous Friday to Scarborough and they said no time to prepare it for the outward trip. It was intended for the return trip. However apparently Network Rail Swindon refused the move from Crewe because "they were too busy with the Olympics"
All in all the Railway Touring Company failed again to compensate their passengers.
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Old 10th August 2012, 08:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ackers View Post
I was on the diesel hauled train - everyone very disappointed and only a 20 voucher each offered for a trip that cost 376! They said the 60009 blew a gasket at 2am. The Duchess of Sutherland had been used previous Friday to Scarborough and they said no time to prepare it for the outward trip. It was intended for the return trip. However apparently Network Rail Swindon refused the move from Crewe because "they were too busy with the Olympics"
All in all the Railway Touring Company failed again to compensate their passengers.
Welcome to RF Ackers, 376? for how many,
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Old 10th August 2012, 19:57   #14
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Welcome to RF Ackers, 376? for how many,
It was for 2 people - admittedly "premier dining" - but naturally wanted a steam train. Next time maybe just do the basis trip - and not with RTC. Anyone recommend a reputable company - running from Stockport or Manchester.
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Old 11th August 2012, 20:24   #15
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The problem is that planning steam - or any - tours is a logistical nightmare which takes many, many months.

Network Rail can and do change the goalposts at any time due their own lack of capacity to run the network properly with structures and routes going out of gauge for various reasons and an inexplicable inability to supply times until the very last minute.

Promoters therefore have to offer trains for sale as a matter of hope rather than fact.

All parties could try harder if they all sang from the same hymn sheet, but these seems to be a congenital inability to do so, so you end up with locos that are never going to appear being offered. Routings that are not available being offered, timings that won't happen etc. This should not happen

Trains are often made up of dirty unkempt stock with no water, heating or lights and in the 21st Century that is just not good enough.

Mentioning this is, however, very naughty and people shout at you and get very excited about it.

Whilst failures on the day - such as the A4 last week, or the Duchess today are very unfortunate and there really is nothing that can be done, the reality is the the "Crewe Pool" is one loco - 60009 that can do North Wales - not four.

That is gambling - not planning
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